SLATHER ON THAT SUNSCREEN AND POUR ANOTHER SPARKLING TEA, KIDS; IT’S TIME FOR SUMMER HOUSE!
The last episode ended with Carl saying “I love you” to Lindsay, but we (me, Lindsay, probably others) weren’t sure what that meant. Fortunately, the producers picked up episode 2 right where we left off—with Carl and Lindsay still talking outside the bushes at the restaurant. Pretty quickly, Carl walks the L-bomb back by pouring a few ice-cold buckets of friendzone cement on the sparks he lit with Lindsay. As Carl says “I want to be in your life as much as I can, and I’m not worried about anything else. We’re best friends. We’re good.” Lindsay, understandably, looks confused. What kind of horseshit is this, Carl? You can’t tell a girl you love her after you finger her and then immediately obfuscate with hugs and friendship. YOU may be good, Carl, but too many of us girls have witnessed this fuckboi dance before, and we’re tired of it. We deserve better. Shave your back.
It’s a tale as old as time. Two friends of the opposite sex blur the lines of their feelings. Then, when things get too hot to handle, one person backs away to “protect the friendship.” I had this same thing happen to me once, except with a cousin (first, not removed, dad’s side). At the same time, you always hear people say shit like “marry your best friend.” So what the fuck is it, Miss Cleo? Are Carl and Lindsay jeopardizing their friendship with the occasional labia pat? Or are these the very building blocks upon which these two will build a lasting love that leads to marriage, children, and a spinoff? Ugh, this show is so confusing!
Once home, Luke tries to entice Hannah into his room for a late-night serenade on his guitar, but Hannah won’t have it. “Nothing turns me off more than playing guitar and singing at the same time,” she says. That’s it? Your number one turnoff, Hannah? How about discovering that your hinge date has a flesh-eating venereal disease? Or that he killed a child and ate it? Get some perspective; Luke is a child of God, and playing the guitar and singing pale in comparison to child cannibalism. I wasn’t exactly hard watching him play the guitar and sing “it’s been thirteen days… I’m thinking about you.” But I haven’t been fully hard since I started on my hair loss medicine.
The next morning, the ladies lounge by the pool. Jules tells us that she grew up in a Jordanian family in Cincinnati, that she didn’t have sleepovers until she was 13, and that she felt like she never fit in. It feels like she wants to talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict, but she doesn’t. Nobody asks her, and the wait continues. The gang packs up and heads back to New York for a week of work.
On Monday, Hannah records her podcast, Berning in Hell. Armand, Hannah’s love interest, comes in looking like a perfect pouch of bison jerky. The producers caption his name as “Armand, Hannah’s Friend” because they clearly want her to move on to Luke for the sake of the show, but his olive skin and perfect teeth are fighting back. He wears a light purple shirt that Hannah playfully negs but Armand (class act that he is) doesn’t take the bait. He hangs his sunglasses from a necklace—a move I’ve never seen but made me think, cool. He hands her a cup of milk and they smile at each other in a way that suggests that this isn’t the first time he’s brought her milk. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of their dairy barn.
Speaking of snacks, I should add that I’ve been on Hannah’s podcast before. She records at Spotify studios, and their snack area is incredible. All free, take as much as you want, like a Swedish airplane. I ate a packet of tuna fish and some dried seaweed crisps before treating myself to a handful of dark chocolate covered almonds. I then caught the back half of a sexual harassment seminar on the 47th floor. I wasn’t supposed to be there, but I chewed quietly and kept to the shadows, absorbing. Fascinating stuff.
Next we see that Paige and her boyfriend Perry are doing great. Whoop-dee-doo. And then we’re on to Kyle and Amanda, who are launching their sparkling tea brand Loverboy. Kyle appointed her as creative director but claims that she has “done nothing.” As they circle each other in their sunny apartment, we can taste the tension. In fact, the whole time Amanda was sipping her glass of wine, I realized my mouth was open. Amanda says she isn’t wired like Kyle; she’s not a workaholic. Yet Kyle has high expectations for his new company. He’s trying to plan their future, and to provide for the family they want to have. But Amanda says she doesn’t want any children!—the sort of blasphemy that would result in corporal punishment on Handmaid’s Tale. Fortunately, this isn’t Gilead; it’s Manhattan.
On to Lindsay. She’s growing her PR firm, and that’s fun. Then she gets on a video call with her aunt, who seems weirdly in the loop about Lindsay’s rollercoaster with Carl. Not to judge but I don’t tell my aunt who’s fingering me this week. Different strokes haha.
Now to Luke, who coaches a few adorable young cubs hockey. He tells us of his tough upbringing in Minnesota: harsh winters, a father who did time in jail, etc. From this, Luke has come to say that “if I have a roof over my head and food in my belly, I’m ok.” He sounds like someone who helps people onto moving trains, whereupon they sit in silence, jostled to a fro by the trundling train, spilling the contents of hand-rolled cigarettes as they cross America.
And with that, the work week is over. Kyle and Amanda head to a wedding, but the rest of the gang heads back to the Hamptons, and not a moment too soon. This real-life bullshit is so boring. Good thing it only lasted three minutes. Carl and Lindsay bring Danielle (from previous seasons) with them, and everyone arrives and starts to drink. Jules is overly effusive about Paige’s hands, and Lindsay tells us that Jules is trying too hard to fit in. If only there were some fascinating thing she could share with us. Say, for example, her thoughts on King Abdullah? Is Jordan a true constitutional monarchy? Dammit Jules, add value.
Lindsay pulls Danielle into a bedroom to tell her about the fingering. And once again, we hear it as “he might or might not have fingered me.” At this point, the fact that both Carl and Lindsay are so on the fence about whether or not he fingered her gives me enormous anxiety. The biggest thing I learned from that sexual harassment seminar was that clarity and mutual understanding are paramount to maintaining a safe working environment. This obscure did we or didn’t we game that Carl and Lindsay are playing is surely headed for rocky waters…
Against all odds, Danielle is the voice of reason. She tells Lindsay they need to lay down some “terms and conditions about this fingerbang thing.” I don’t know what Danielle does for a living, but I know she has a bright future as a workplace harassment consultant.
Downstairs, Paige shows Hannah and Lindsay the Cartier love ring that Perry gave to her. She’s excited, but Hannah doesn’t know if Paige is ready for the sort of commitment that comes with such an expensive gift. Hannah, meanwhile, wears a ring from Forever 21. I used to hear about girls shoplifting jewelry from that store all the time. I can’t help but wonder if Hannah stole it, and if that’s the case, how regularly does she steal?
We flash to Amanda and Kyle, in New Jersey, as they sit down to eat with Amanda’s parents. Amanda’s father looks like the sort of man who would run the Iditarod without dogs, plus he has a great laugh to boot. Unfortunately, he brings up the elephant in the room: the wedding. Kyle gets frustrated, Amanda basically says she’s not ready yet, and I wonder if Amanda’s father would like to go duck hunting sometime.
Back in the Hamptons, the crew + Danielle heads to dinner, where Luke immediately resumes his campaign for Hannah. Look, he’s a red-blooded male, I get that. But I also like Armand, who reminds me of my favorite leather belt. I’m torn between screaming at Luke to BACK OFF and asking him where he gets his hair cut. Which brings us to the next conversation, where Hannah asks Luke about his grooming. He says he doesn’t do any manscaping whatsoever, which makes total sense. God doesn’t let his favorite gardens become overgrown with weeds. But then Carl, capricious instigator that he is, asks Hannah about Armand, breaking the spell between Hannah and Luke. Hannah turns this around and asks Lindsay and Carl about their status, and Lindsay blows the fuck up. Jules tries to get her to calm down, but Lindsay flips on Jules, and we’re starting to see that Jules (like Jordan) might not have the backbone needed to keep the peace.
The group heads out for a night of dancing and returns to the house, three sheets to the wind. Nearly everyone goes to bed; everyone except Hannah and Luke, who take a late night soak in the hot tub. This spells trouble: not only are hot tubs a breeding ground for breeding, they’re also dangerous conduits for staph infections. Make sure you shower and use an anti-bacterial wash after a hot tub. For while I could definitely Hannah stroking Luke’s leg underwater, staphylococcus bacteria is invisible to the eye.
The next morning, Lindsay, Danielle, Paige, and Jules head to brunch while Hannah, Luke, and Carl go to the driving range to hit balls. At brunch, Paige dishes about Perry and her intentions of marrying him. They have sex “every day or every other day,” which makes no sense. Over to golf, Hannah teases the boys about her superior golf ability. The tempo of her swing is smooth as Luke whiffs nearby, sadly. Carl gets lost in the sauce as Luke and Hannah warm to each other. Feeling left out, he brings up Armand again, and then asks Luke about his deal with chicks. “What’s your deal with chicks?” asks Carl. Classic Carl. At this, Luke looks off wistfully, remembering his last relationship—a three-year fireworks show that ended when she “got physical” with him. I took this to mean wrestling, head-bopping, Indian sunburning, titty twistering, and earlobe pulling. But it could just mean that they finally had sex.
As the house readies for a party, a bunch of random people show up. I don’t recognize a single one of them. I was led to believe that Summer House was a show about Kyle, Amanda, Hannah, Paige, Crazy Carl, Lindsay, and I guess Jules. Occasionally Armand. Now I’m in over my head with a group of newcomers and it’s all too much. Paige appears overwhelmed too, as she stays in her room texting with Perry. But, as Hannah and Danielle worry about Paige’s reticence, she emerges and the keg crew hoists her up for a keg stand. Jules pumps the keg tap, adding the most value she’s brought in two hours of television. At one point, Jules tells Paige “honestly, like, I, like, am, like, so obsessed with you.” That’s a fucking quote. She used those words, in that order, in a sentence.
It was at this moment that I stopped caring about her stance on Israel.
Hannah confronts Paige about the realities of her relationship. She wants Paige to stop pussyfootin’ around. Shoot us straight, Paige. Give us the goods. Is your relationship really perfect? Is it? If you really think about it? Come on, let your guard down. Tell us it’s bad. Tell us, Paige. And then Paige breaks down, obviously, because Hannah used techniques from the film Inception to convince her that her relationship sucks. Well done, team. We fixed her.
Carl and Lindsay head to a quiet patch of grass for an impromptu foodless picnic. What follows is a conversation with the emotional maturity of a scholastic book fair. “I like you,” she says. “I fucking like you,” he says. And just like that, they agree to a date and to brave the sure-to-be smooth waters of a reality show romance. Good luck! Pull out!
Overall, I would call this a setup episode. We saw Carl and Lindsay’s budding romance take center stage; the absence of Amanda and Kyle manifested as an eery calm over the house; Hannah and Luke are adding heat to their soup; and Jules is going to murder Paige, dehydrate her organs, and wear them in a dreamcatcher around her neck for safe keeping.
Needless to say, I’m here for it! Tune in for a new Summer House, Wednesday at 8, ONLY ON BRAVO!!!